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Windows 7: What backup method would you recommend in my scenario?


18 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 8 Pro
 
 
What backup method would you recommend in my scenario?

Hello everyone,

As you can see, I am new to the forum, and am learning tons of information everytime I visit. My computer runs beautifully with excellent security, no errors, etc. HOWEVER, I have never done a system backup or image before... and it's worrying me, considering that most members on the forum do it religiously. I have turned off system protection on my Windows 7 machine and instead use ERUNT. I would like to backup my pictures from my computer to somewhere safe. The only problem I have is that I don't have an external HDD and I have 40 GB of pictures. As of right now, I am doing old school style of copying my pictures onto many DVD's, which is a pain in the rear. Any sugggestions of what programs to use, what to do, etc.? Also, I want to do a backup/image for safety as well, from malware or anything else. Thank you so much!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Windows 911 View Post
I have turned off system protection on my Windows 7 machine and instead use ERUNT. I would like to backup my pictures from my computer to somewhere safe. The only problem I have is that I don't have an external HDD and I have 40 GB of pictures. As of right now, I am doing old school style of copying my pictures onto many DVD's, which is a pain in the rear. Any sugggestions of what programs to use, what to do, etc.? Also, I want to do a backup/image for safety as well, from malware or anything else. Thank you so much!
I've forgotten what ERUNT is, but I generally consider it a mistake to turn off system restore, if that is what you mean by "system protection".

Divide your backup needs into 2 categories: Windows and personal data.

Do the former with imaging if you do it at all. Most people don't. The downside of not imaging is you have to reinstall Windows and your applications if your hard drive dies or if your system is so hosed that you have no other choice. The primary choices on this forum are Windows 7 built in imaging, Acronis, and Macrium Reflect. Some people make images daily. Others make them weekly or every month or two. I'd advise you to avoid "incremental images".

Don't bet any of your limbs that your image strategy will work when you need it.

Do the latter with a file by file method--not imaging. Imaging is a complexity and I can't think of a good reason to insert a fallible complexity between me and my data backups. There are many good apps for this--free and otherwise. The better ones can be automated to run with the click of a button. You can include or exclude certain directories, certain file types, etc.


You've pretty much got to buy another drive--either internal or external.

A hard-core strategy would involve imaging by more than a single application and would probably include keeping at least one backup of your data at another location.
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18 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

Okay, I just uninstalled ERUNT, and tried to re enable System Protection. I get this error: " The task image is corrupt or has been tampered with.. Error: 0x80041321." I just tried to search it in the forums, and there is no thread related to that... Does anyone know what it is?
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18 Feb 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I'm guessing that refers to Windows built in backup, or a schedule for it. I don't use Windows built in backup, so I can only refer you to Googling that error number.

Do you have system restore turned on? That is a different thing and is a quick way to restore to a prior time and usually works well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

This is strange, I get that error message when I try to click OK or Apply when I am in the "Configure" window, but then I just made a successful restore point...

Anyways, I saw a thread that talks about using Macrium. Does imaging back up pictures? Or other things?

Thank you for your help by the way, I really appreaciate it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

An image of a C partition (or any partition) would include EVERYTHING on it. If your pictures are on C, your pictures would be part of the image.

But as I originally said--imaging can fail and I don't think you should rely on imaging to back up your personal data. If you want to make an image of C to backup Windows, that's fine. But I would then separately backup my data WITHOUT using an image.

When people have problems with imaging, it is normally when they try to restore the image. Only then do they find out they can't do it and they don't really have a backup. No big deal if all you lost is the time required to install Windows. But a very big deal if your hard drive failed and you tried to get your pictures back through your image--only to find out you could not.
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18 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

That makes sense. On your previous post, you recommended file by file method. How do I go about doing that? ( I apologize for the baby-step questions, I am totally new to the backup process.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You use an application, some of which are free and some are not.

I use Second Copy, cost $30, with a 30 day free trial.

Others use Synctoy (I think that is the name of it--it's free from Microsoft). I think Microsoft has another free one also, whose name escapes me. Go to somewhere like Softpedia.com and do a search for backup applications and you will see a bunch of them. Stick with one that makes sense to you and is well reviewed.

The good ones are HIGHLY configurable. You can backup jpegs, but not Word documents if you want. You can backup just video files if you want. You can backup just stuff in a certain directory. Etc. You have total control over what, when, and to where.

Another free one is Karen's Replicator.

Google something like "backup applications" and you will get a lot of hits.
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18 Feb 2011   #9

Windows 7 RTM Ultimate x64
 
 

+1 to second copy it is very easy to use

i would also like to recommend acronis
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18 Feb 2011   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit
 
 

For my pics and data files I use SyncToy from Microsoft.
Download details: SyncToy 2.1

I have a folder with sub-folders where I keep all my photos and videos. I also have a data partition for all the rest of my misc files. SyncToy lets me setup what folder I want to backup and it checks for any changes and updates the backup. You can set up multiple pairs to backup and it works great and is free. I can add,delete, move or rename files and SyncToy sees it all and updates the backup.

For my OS partition I use Macrium to make an image.

Jim
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 What backup method would you recommend in my scenario?




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